Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC 286 fight week already got interesting as he revealed that another event participant, Jake Hadley, wanted a piece of him.
During media day, according to Mokaev, things nearly got physical between he and Hadley. The only thing missing, however, is a fight between the two. Mokaev is scheduled to face Jafel Filho, who is making his Octagon debut. As for Hadley, his third UFC flyweight bout will see him fight Malcom Gordon. Both bouts will take place on the preliminary portion of the event, airing on ESPN+ and ESPN News stateside.
“I actually just came face-to-face with him. He didn’t say one word and his dad started backing him up,” Mokaev said. “I don’t understand. If my father was in front of me and I’m a UFC fighter, I wouldn’t stand behind my dad. I would jump over and slap the guy.”
Mokaev (8-0 MMA) wasn’t surprised that Hadley, nor other fighters, are likely scared of him.
“He didn’t say any word. I don’t know, these guys don’t see me in real life. I know these kinds of guys. I grew up in England. Twitter is different than life,” Mokaev explained. “Guys like Jake Hadley, I don’t know what to call them. I don’t want to swear but he didn’t say one word. One word. At least say something. Don’t stand behind your father. I feel very bad for his father, (he’s) an old man. I didn’t want to (do) anything because (an) old man is in front of me.”
Quotes transcribed via MMA News.
Regardless of the beef between the two, this isn’t the first time that a backstage rivalry has occurred in England. Famous examples include Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal, along with the infamous “hand sanitizer boy” incident between Paddy Pimblett and Illia Topuria in March 2022.
UFC 286 marks the promotion’s first London-based pay-per-view since UFC 204.
The main event will feature the highly anticipated trilogy between Edwards and Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. The series is tied one apiece, with Edwards winning in emphatic fashion with a fifth-round head kick KO at UFC 278.
Will Mokaev and Hadley win their fights on Saturday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, Penn Nation!